well, that doesn't tell you much, does it? (Unless you know me well, in which case you have probably already guessed that its either ARR's b'day today or Sachin.. or maybe Mani Ratnam's!)
He has turned 39 (or is it 38?). And considering that he has influenced my life so much over last 11 years, surprising even die-hard fans with one album after another, I can't even begin to imagine what he is going to achieve over next few decades. From Roja to Swades (Kisna isn't quite an ARR album... so... ) he has consistently maintained the highest quality, even changing our perceptions about what that highest quality might be. Just when I start to doubt his ability he comes up with yet another astounding album.
2004 was sort of a mixed year for Rahman. Not in terms of the quality of his songs. In that sense it has to count as one of his best. But it was disappointing to see that some of his great work didnt get the recognition it deserved. Three great soundtracks came and none of them would probably be remembered 10 years from now except by a handful of fans like me. Meenaxi, Yuva/Ayidha Ezhuthu, and Swades are all National Award material. And by that I mean that if any of them is chosen for the award this year it won't be as much of a surprise as Kal Ho Naa Ho was last year. (Nothing against KHNH.. it had good songs.. but NATIONAL AWARD??? )
Ironically it was the fourth -New- that was his most successful album this year. Good music, but nothing as compared to the other three. Enjoyable yes, but not quite as breathtaking as the other three. Specially Meenaxi and Swades. I still can't quite come to terms with Meenaxi's failure to get junta's attention. Granted, the movie's failure had something to do with it, still... it deserved better. Much better.
Anyway, these albums (along with some numbers in Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha and Kisna) were what he came up with last year. And now that we are in 2005, there are some truely exciting projects to look forward to. Netaji, The Rising, Rivermoon (assuming they haven't tinkered with his original music too much) are the three classy albums in the pipeline for this year. Then there are at least 2-3 tamil albums too that he has signed recently. But none of them as exciting as these three (unless Rajiv Menon shoots his next and comes with the music before 2005 ends.. not very likely though).
Happy B'day to the Great A R Rahman. I hope he continues to do the good work for many years to come. At least till I am alive. :)